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In these stirring times, when all Anglo-Saxondom is on the qui-vive for novelty, and the discovery of a new wateringplace is hailed with more enthusiasm than the discovery of a new planet; when the "universal Yankee nation" has so nearly exhausted all the whereabouts which modern facilities for locomotion have brought so conveniently within its reach; -when the Old World has become also an old story, and Summer excursions to St. Petersburg and Tornea, and Winter sojourns in Australia and Typee, have afforded amusement, not only to travelers themselves, but to those who, at their own fire-sides, like equally well to take a trip to the ends of the Earth in their comfortable arm-chairs; it has been a matter of surprise to me, that those who live upon the excitement of seeing and telling some new thing, have so seldom betaken themselves to our Southern continent.
Promising indeed to lovers of the marvelous is that land, where the highest of Earth's mountains seek her brightest skies, as though their tall peaks sought a nearer acquaintance with the most glorious of stars; where the mightiest of rivers roll majestically through primeval forests of boundless extent, concealing, yet bringing forth the most beautiful and varied forms of animal and vegetable existence; where Peruvian gold has tempted, and Amazonian women have repulsed, the unprincipled adventurer; and where Jesuit missionaries, and luckless traders, have fallen victims to cannibal Indians, and epicurean anacondas.
With a curiosity excited by such wonders, and heightened by the graphic illustrations in school geographies, where men riding rebellious alligators form a foreground to tigers bound